I've been a pretty regular lurker here lately, as I'm going to be co-hosting a shower for my SIL (and I love you regulars and always agree with the things you say!). She just found out the sex, so we've stepped up the planning recently. Today I helped her register, and there was some shower talk and I had a lot of cringe-worthy moments with her.
I was honestly shocked when the books instead of cards came up, I've never known anyone in real life who did this (only read about it here, but agree it's a bad idea). I was freaking out inside on how to handle it, SIL is awesome, but she wasn't raised by the best people and doesn't know a lot about etiquette, so of course she means no harm. Apparently a coworker brought up this idea so she wanted to do it. I had to think on it, and finally I addressed it because I couldn't let it happen. I brought up 1st about the duplicate issue, and how she wouldn't be able to return dups if they had writing in them. Then I gently mentioned how it's not really polite to ask people for specific gifts, especially when you're asking it in addition to a regular shower gift, and how books are not as cheap as cards. She understood these points and I convinced her to just register for books so if people want to buy them they can choose to, but they won't be asked specifically to do so.
Throughout the day I realized that she's one of those people who don't realize you don't host your own shower, so even though MIL and I (and her mom may help a little.....but likely not much) are technically hosting she thinks she is hosting, too. She bought invitations today, which I let slide, but I did convince her to let me and MIL address and send them, which is good because for a May 4th shower she was planning to mail them next week!
I have a feeling that from now until May 4th I'll be in for more moments like these!